Back when I was a younger woman, the only way to make Christmas candy was to pull out the big heavy cast iron pot, and slave over the hot stove, in the hopes that, what ever you were making, would not burn.
Otherwise it was trashed and you had to start over.
I guess it was about twenty or so years ago now, that I attended a women's night with my church, where they proceeded to amaze and delight us with homemade candy, while we worked on other projects. At the end of the work night they had a stack of papers with those delicious candy recipes on.
Imagine the chatter that ensued when we saw the lists of ingredients!
Allow me to share.
Just a note: "Summer Coating" can be replaced with microwave melted chocolate chips and work just fine.
Melt chocolate flavored "Summer Coating" over warm water, in a double boiler. With a fork, dip "Ritz" crackers into coating. Tapping off excess. Slide coated cracker onto wax paper. When it has hardened, place into a shallow, plastic container (such as Tupperware) Make layers, with wax paper in between, placing small balls of cotton with a small amount of mint flavoring on them in a few places between layers. Put the lid on tightly and let stay 3-5 days. The peppermint flavoring will permeate through the coating and the crackers.
Peanut Butter Bites
Spread peanut butter on a cheese cracker (I like Nabisco Cheese Nips). Top with another cracker, making a sandwich. Dip into melted chocolate flavored "Summer Coating", slide coated sandwich onto wax paper and let harden.
Turtles and Frogs
Line a Cookie Sheet with foil or waxed paper. Brush with shortening. Pile small mounds of nuts, leaving an inch to an inch and a half between mounds. Unwrap a Caramel and pinch into a flat disc. Lay on top of a half of a walnut or pecan and slip into a 300 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. Watch it carefully! You want the caramel to just soften and encase the nut. Dip in chocolate flavored "Summer Coating".
Place twisted pretzel's on a foil lined cookie sheet sprayed with Pam, Place a Rollo on top, slip into oven until the Rollo is softened, remove from oven and press a walnut or Pecan half into the center.
5 oz. Can of Chinese noodles
1 Can Salted peanuts
2 6oz. pkg. Butterscotch morsels
Melt morsels and add other ingredients, mix then drop by the teaspoon full on waxed paper.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 Stick (1/2 cup) melted butter in a 9X12 cake pan.
Sprinkle 1 Cup of Graham cracker crumbs over this. Sprinkle 1 Cup of coconut, then 1 pkg of Chocolate chips. Cover with a can of sweetened condensed milk and bake at 350 degree's for 15 to 20 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve.
Now for my favorite fakes...
Line a large cookie sheet or Jelly roll pan (10 1/2 x 15 1/2 inches) with tin foil. Turn the edges of the foil up to form a pan. Spray with Pam. Put a single layer of Saltine crackers on top of the foil, cutting the last row to fit.
In a heavy pan put:
2 cubes (1 cup) Butter
1 Cup Brown sugar
Bring to a boil and allow to boil for 3 minutes, stirring as needed. Pour carefully over crackers and use the back of a tablespoon to cover. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle a package of chocolate chips over the top, can slid back into cooling oven to help melt them, then use the bake of a tablespoon to spread the melted chocolate over the top, can sprinkle chopped nuts over the top (If you like nuts that is).
They break into squares really easy when they are warm or cooled.
Cheater Cherry Chocolates
Use a sheet cake pan or large cake pan 9x 13 inch.
4 packages of semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 Cup chopped Spanish peanuts
3/4 Cup Chunky peanut butter
1 Can Cherry frosting
20 to 25 (30 if using a large pan or want a thicker center) Large Marshmallows
Melt 2 pkg. chocolate chips and peanut butter and peanuts in microwave safe bowl, mix. Spread in the bottom of the Pam sprayed pan. Chill in fridge while you melt marshmallows in microwave, then add the can of frosting, stir until mixed in good. Spread this over the top of the chilled chocolate layer. Chill while you repeat the top layer of chocolate and peanut butter and peanuts. Spread over the top of the chilled cherry filling. Chill. Cut into squares and eat or wrap or set on a plate and enjoy.